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Name That Trauma :: Reader Allison on a Cockroach-Filled Chest Cavity

February 15th, 2012 by unkle lancifer · 7 Comments

In the early 1980s (need more specific? Let’s say 1983-1987), my mom wanted to a see a movie for her birthday in November. She picked out what she thought was an indie film with a non-scary plot; I was 5-6 and would be tagging along. About half-way through the movie, the main character wakes up in the middle of having open-heart surgery. There’s a curtain hanging between his head and chest, and there’s no one in the stark white operating room. He pulls the curtain apart to see his chest cavity is split open. All of a sudden, millions of cockroaches come pouring out of his chest, spilling all over the floor. At that point, my dad swooped me up and quickly removed me from the theater. I think I remember seeing SNOW WHITE posters in the lobby and I see that it was re-released in 1983 and 1987.

I know that’s not a lot to go on, but won’t someone please help me out?


Tags: Name That Trauma!

7 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Rhiannon JoyNo Gravatar // Feb 15, 2012 at 10:05 am

    Can’t help you with your query, but wanted to say how much Snake Plisskin rocks!!!

  • 2 chopmeupNo Gravatar // Feb 15, 2012 at 11:26 am

    Bliss (1985)? Here’s a review that mentions your trauma:

  • 3 llamaNo Gravatar // Feb 15, 2012 at 11:59 am

    Sounds like Creepshow to me.

  • 4 unkle lanciferNo Gravatar // Feb 15, 2012 at 12:59 pm

    RJ, I agree completely about Snake.

    llama, I kept thinking of Creepshow too! I just couldn’t see how someone could go see Creepshow not knowing what to expect!


    I think you have it.

    From the review you linked to…

    “Bliss had a checkered history. It premiered at Cannes in a version running 135 minutes, and had one of the most disastrous screenings in history. Some four hundred people walked out, many of them prompted by the early scene where fish fall out of Lynette Curran’s skirt. (And the scene where Harry’s heart-surgery scar splits open and cockroaches pour out isn’t for the squeamish either.”

    BLISS really fits the ‘Art House” description and the time frame too.

    This was a tough one. Great work! I think this has to be it! Can’t wait to hear from Allison.

    Here is the trailer…

  • 5 unkle lanciferNo Gravatar // Feb 15, 2012 at 4:20 pm

    “Musing teh Trauma” backed up the BLISS theory on Facebook too.

    Here is the email we just got from allison…

    “I don’t have an account to post back. Bliss has to be it! Thanks for helping. I see a movie night in my future to relive the trauma. I’ve never been ok with cockroaches thanks to Bliss.

    Good job chop and thanks to everyone for helping out!

    Here’s the Classic Creepshow scene too!!!
    Good guess llama!

  • 6 David FullamNo Gravatar // Feb 16, 2012 at 12:54 pm

    Has to be Bliss, a sadly neglected film.

  • 7 Binrow The HereticNo Gravatar // Feb 17, 2012 at 7:23 pm

    BLISS is a terrific movie. I sure wish it was available on DVD in the US, I haven’t seen it since the 80s.

    It does unique things with what is a kind of familiar premise – the lead character can’t tell if he’s going mad or if he’s really in Hell.

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